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Toad Tuesday

Arroya Toad (Anaxyrus californicus)

photo by USFWS

Conservation status is Endangered
Common Name: Arroya Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus californicus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Location: California
Size: 3 inches (7.6 cm)

The Arroya Toad is only found in southern California and Baja California. It is listed as a federally endangered species by the United States federal government. It has been estimated that the toad has lost 75% of its original range due to humans. Much of their habitat has been ruined due to damming of creeks and off roading activities. Invasive species introduced into their environment such as American Bull Frogs and trouts have feasted on them. These threats must be handled to save the species.

The Arroya Toad has a typical breeding behavior for a toad. Breeding takes place from March to the end of July. The male toads release high calls to attract the females from shallow water bodies. Eventually, the toads meet up and the male will grasp the female in amplexus. The female releases over 4000 eggs. It takes over two months for the tadpoles to develop into toads.


Frog of the Week

Sanguine Poison Arrow Frog (Allobates zaparo)

photo by Santiago Ron

least concern

Common Name: Sanguine Poison Arrow Frog, Zaparo’s Poison Frog, and Sanguine Poison Frog
Scientific Name: Allobates zaparo
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Ecuador and Peru
Size: 1.2 inches (30.5 mm)

The Sanguine Poison Arrow Frog is a diurnal (active during the day) species of frog. It can move around during the bright daylight without fear due to their bright colors that warn predators that they are poisonous. Surprise! They aren’t actually poisonous. They use batesian mimicry, where they look similar to other poisonous frogs but actually aren’t. The frog species it mimics are the Ecuador Poison Dart Frog (Ameerega bilinguis) and the Ruby Poison Dart Frog (Ameerega parvulus).  Interestingly,  in areas where both of the frogs inhabit, the Sanguine Poison Arrow Frog mimics the coloration of the Ecuador Poison Dart Frog, the less poisonous of the two.

The breeding for the Sanguine Poison Arrow Frog is pretty typical for any poison dart frog. The frogs lay their eggs on leaves and when the eggs hatch, the parents carry the tadpoles on their back to a body of water. It isn’t known which parent or if both parents carry the eggs over to the water.


tree frog thursday

Bird Voiced Tree Frog (Hyla avivoca)

Bird Voiced Tree Frog – photo by Todd Pierson

least concern
Common Name: Bird Voiced Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla avivoca
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee
Female Size: 2 inches (53 mm)
Male Size: 1.5 inches (38 mm)

The Bird Voiced Tree Frog is named for its call that people say sounds like a bird whistle.  It appears very similar to the Eastern Gray Tree Frog and the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog but it doesn’t have any orange coloration on their legs. In Illinois, the frog is listed as threatened.

The breeding season starts in April for the southern populations and in May for the northern populations. Breeding lasts throughout the summer. Males will start to call in trees or other vegetation above the water. Females will approach calling males and the males will initiate amplexus. The females will carry the males down to the water and lay her eggs there. The larval phase of the frogs takes just a month.





Frog of the Week

Johnstone’s Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei)


least concern

Common Name: Johnstone’s Whistling Frog or Lesser Antillean Whistling Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus johnstonei
Family: Eleutherodactylidae
Locations: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Introduced Locations: Aruba, Bermuda, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela
Size:  .6 – 1.3 inches (17-35 mm)

The Johhnstone’s Whistling Frog is named after Robert S. Johnstone, the Chief Justice of Grenada, who helped collect the first specimens. These small frogs live on many of the islands in the eastern Caribbean and have spread to other areas. They can stow away easily on boats and are great at adapting to new areas.

The frogs breed throughout the year but mostly during the wettest months, June to August. Males produce whistling calls to attract females. Once the female finds the male, the male will back away while continuing to call. The female will follow and they move to a breeding site. The female will lay between 10 – 30 eggs. The male or the female protects the eggs until they hatch. The eggs hatch directly into froglets, skipping the tadpole stage.

Frog of the Week

European Common Frog (Rana temporaria)

photo by  Bill and Sam Lionheart

least concern
Common Name: European Common Frog,  European Common Brown Frog,  and just Common Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Family: Ranidae – True Frog Family
Locations: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Size: 2.4 to 3.5 inches (6 to 9 cm)

The Common Frog is found throughout Europe including close to the Arctic Circle. They are a very cold tolerant species and are active throughout most of the year. They hibernate in the winter starting in October and ending in February or March. They hibernate underwater and sometimes form underwater hibernacula with thousands of other frogs.

The frogs awake from their hibernation and they are ready to mate. Mating occurs from March to June but in most places, it occurs in April. The males will start to develop a blue throat to attract females. The eggs are laid in shallow bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and canals.


Frog of the Week

Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)

photo from the USGS

least concern

Common Name: Carpenter Frog
Scientific Name: Lithobates virgatipes
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: United States- Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Virginia
Size: 2 inches (50 mm)

The Carpenter Frog is found along the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey down to Georgia. They are easily identified by their two yellow lines that run down their back. Males of the species have paired vocal sacs. Most of their lives is spent in the water and rarely are found far from their wetland homes.

Carpenter Frogs breed in permanent bodies of water such as marshes, ponds, and swales. Carpenter Frogs and their tadpoles can tolerate more acidic waters than most frogs in the eastern United States so they breed in more acidic bodies of water. The females lay between 200 to 600 eggs for the male to fertilize. After the fertilization, both parents leave their offspring to defend for themselves. The tadpoles take over a year to turn into frogs. They have to survive cold winters in their northern ranges.



Canadian Toad (Anaxyrus hemiophrys)

Canadian Toad – photo by ceasol

Common Name: Canadian Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus hemiophrys
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming
Size: 1 1/2-3 1/4 inches (3.7-8.3 cm)

The Canadian Toad is more aquatic than most toad species in North America. They can be found in or near prairie wetlands. For the winter, the Canadian Toad can burrow below the frost line. They also overwinter within mima mounds, small earth mounds. These mounds can hold hundreds of toads at a time.

The Canadian Toad breeds from May to July depending on the location. They breed in shallow areas of water such as lakes, ponds, and temporary bodies of water. They lay several thousand eggs that hatch in 3 to 12 days. The tadpoles take 6 to 8 weeks to turn into full toads.

tree frog thursday

Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosa)

photo by wikiuser Fredlyfish4

least concern

Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla gratiosa
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia
Size: 2.75 inches (70 mm)

The Barking Tree Frog gets its name from the male’s call that sounds like a dog’s bark. It is found along the coast from Louisiana up to New Jersey, though they are probably extinct there. While they are a tree frog, they do come down from the trees to breed, hibernate, and to aestivate. The frogs will dig deep into the sandy soils during the dry summer to prevent themselves from drying out. They also burrow down during winter to escape the cold and they will use other burrows of other animals, such as the Gopher Tortoise, for overwintering.

During the mating season, the males will travel to water bodies to breed. They breed in a variety of shallow water bodies from temporary ponds to streams. The breeding season changes from location to location but is from spring to summer or summer to late summer.The females lay between 1,500–4,000 eggs during mating and then the male and female leave the eggs to fend for themselves.

Toad Tuesday

Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)

photo by Norman Benton

least concern
Common Name: Southern Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus terrestris
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Female Size: 1.7 – 3.6 inches (44 – 92 mm)
Male Size: 1.6 – 3.2 inches (42 – 82 mm)

The Southern Toad is your typical toad. It is nocturnal and is hidden in a burrow or under rocks or logs during the day. In the spring, the toads migrate to a variety of different water bodies, including lakes, ponds, ditches and canals, to breed. The toads breed in temporary and permanent water sources. The males will call from shallow waters close to shore to attract their mates. The males will embrace the female in amplexus and the female will lay her eggs. Around 2500 – 4000 eggs are laid. The eggs hatch in two to four days and complete metamorphism in one to two months.